Review & Video: Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2

Review Summary:

With an overhauled look, improved functionality and tight integration with iOS, the upgraded Traktor Kontrol S4 looks set to retain its dominance in the four-channel controller market for Traktor. Capable, reliable, portable and fun, the S4 packs a punch - but at a price.

Traktor Kontrol S4 DJ Controller
  • Traktor Kontrol S4 DJ Controller
  • Rating: 4.5
  • From: Native Instruments
  • Version: Mk2
  • Price: $799
  • Reviewed by:
  • On October 15, 2013
  • Last modified:February 13, 2014
Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2

The Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2 builds on the form factor of the original, but with full eight-colour RGB buttons and aluminium jogwheel plates among its physical changes. (Click to enlarge.)

Review: Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2

Full Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2 Review: The recent release of Mk2 versions of the Traktor S4 and S2 controllers created anticipation and disappointment in equal measure, but now the dust’s settled and we’ve had the chance to test the new S4 Mk2 and all its new features (including iOS / Traktor DJ integration), we can ask the question: Was the criticism deserved or not?

For those DJs who are not upgrading, but looking at their first serious controller, we can now answer whether the new S4 is a no-brainer recommendation, just as its older brother was. Find out in our full Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2 review today.

Background

The Traktor Kontrol S4 needs no introduction, as it is the landmark controller for the Traktor Pro 2 software, and the only four-channel controller that (in our opinion) is truly tightly integrated with the software. There’s no denying that this model (and the sister unit, the two-channel S2) has been a massive success for Native Instruments, who claim that the S4 broke all records for sales on a DJ product.

When prices of the S4 started to come down in early summer 2013, excitement and anticipation surged through the digital DJ community that a “new” S4 was imminent, fuelling speculation as to the new features that could be expected; touchstrip controls, support for Traktor DJ, iPhone and iPad slots / integration, Remix Deck integration, wireless connectivity, USB ports, built-in hard drive, colour screens and so on. Then the big day came, and it’s fair to say that the DJ community’s reaction to the launch of the S4 Mk2 was less of a “wow!” and more of a “meh”, with previously positive and excited DJs hurling accusations of laziness at Native Instruments.

However, it’s clear that with the release of the totally overhauled Maschine Studio groove production hardware and software in addition to these new S4 and S2 variations, Native Instruments has been anything but lazy, and as we’ve commented on previously, the technology integrated into the Maschine units would be a solid bet for inclusion in the Traktor hardware range at some point soon. Bottom line is that we’d all forgotten “Mk2″ implies “upgrade”: The same controller, with some improvements. Even the packaging of the S4 Mk2 just says “S4″ – they never said this was a new controller, they said it had been “revised and updated”.

maschine

The totally new Machine Studio hardware features full-colour screens that may well find their way into future Traktor devices.

Any all-new Traktor controller from NI featuring anything like the features desired and speculated upon as mentioned above, or integration of the screen technology launched in the Machine hardware, will likely be an entirely new model (S5?), and possibly accompanied by the release of Traktor Pro 3.0 and Traktor DJ 2.0. So, while we’ll all have to be patient to wait for a new flagship model, let’s get back to what we have here: A refreshed S4 with some pretty cool new features that are certainly worthy of further exploration.

First impressions

It looks nice, really nice. Little touches like the slimmer fader caps and grey filter knobs in tandem with the RGB buttons and aluminium jogwheel tops have combined to give the S4 a fresh, modern look.

Kontrol S4 MK2 Fader Detail

New, slimmer fader caps for the track volumes, crossfader and tempo adjust contribute to the sleeker more streamlined look of the S4. (Click to enlarge.)

The S4 Mk2 comes with a full version of Traktor Pro 2 (as before) and although it’s now mapped to work out of the box with Traktor DJ, the fact that the S4 retains the identical casing assembly as its predecessor means that there’s no iPad or iPhone stand, slot or docking station, leaving you to figure that one out for yourself (or wait for the inevitable Traktor-branded iOS stand as an accessory).

What’s new?

Previous reviews of the S4 have covered its features and performance extensively, so here we’re going to concentrate on what’s new, and where the successes and failures lie in this upgrade:

RGB buttons
The new RGB buttons for the transport and cue controls are a huge improvement on the Mk1, with a smooth rubberised “MPC” feel to the surface (and the elimination of the previous problem of the buttons getting stuck in the down position, getting caught on the edge of the button aperture when pressed hard). These feel tactile, responsive and infinitely more playable. This playability is especially relevant when you take control of the loop slice mode in Traktor DJ with your iPad or iPhone and start to use these buttons to chop up tracks – they are so much better than before.

On USB power you simply cannot see the lights in bright daylight, but they’re just about acceptable once hooked up to the power source (which incidentally is a different power rating to the previous S4, so if you’re upgrading, your old power supply is useless). This daylight-dimness is more than made up for by the spaceship-meets-70s dancefloor appearance you get in the dark which combined with the new aluminium jogwheel tops gives a really attractive look.


Aluminium jogwheels
So, about those shiny new aluminium jogwheel tops. Well, they are exactly that, just “tops”. There is no other part of the jogwheel construction that differs from the Mk1, except a different circuit board for the mechanical scratch contact underneath (we know this because there’s a video on YouTube of a guy actually pulling apart the Mk1 and Mk2 demonstrating the difference, or lack of it).

Having said that, when scratching they feel a lot nicer and the action of pushing down to engage scratch control feels and sounds a lot less clunky than before. If you are used to the previous S4 then all it takes is a slight adjustment in touch, and the familiar tight engaging control over your music is there.

Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2

The new look jogwheels, filter knobs and Flux button. (Click to enlarge.)

Booth output
This is a welcome and much-requested feature on the S4. They are TRS outputs, switchable between booth and main output, and with a volume knob for when in booth-routing mode. However the only way to control the level is to fish behind the unit where the volume knob is located which is actually not that accessible and feels quite recessed; not very useful for the constant raising and lowering of the booth monitors as you check the main output level independently.

So, at first look it seems strange that you would you use an unbalanced RCA as the master and have a balanced booth out that you have to reach over the back for… but by applying some lateral thinking to this it could actually be a great idea. The booth is adjusted a lot more often than the master in DJ-booth situations; the master tending to be more “set and forget” while levels are maintained with gain staging or occasional rises of the master, so although the 1/4″ outs are labelled “booth”, you could actually connect them to your main speakers, controlled via the knob at the back (and this would be a balanced output).

This would leave the booth speakers connected to the RCA outputs; with their level controlled via the more conveniently located “master” volume knob on the front panel of the controller. This may not work for everyone but makes some sense – whether Native Instruments intended this to be idea in unclear!

Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2 rear

The much-needed booth output features as 1/4″ TRS outputs on the rear of the Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2 alongside the volume control. (Click to enlarge.)

Control over Remix Decks
They’ve had a go at providing additional control over the Remix Decks, and once you wade through the manual to work out what’s what, the feature is certainly a lot more accessible and controllable, but unfortunately not enough. You still need an F1 (or another controller now you can map third party ones) to truly have a blast and get the most out of the Remix Decks.

It’s better for sure, but limited by the fact that this is un upgrade of an existing product; not a from-the-ground-up redesign where more comprehensive control over the Remix Decks would have maybe had more priority. I don’t mind though, in most DJing situations the ability to grab and trigger eight samples from the controller without having to switch decks is plenty enough.

Kontrol S2 RGB

More tactile cue-juggling and sample-triggering plus improved control over the Remix Decks via the new RGB buttons on the S4. (Click to enlarge.)

Flux Mode button
The popular Flux feature has not previously been available to control via the S4 (except by manually mappping to a button of your choice) so it’s good to see that one of the redundant tempo fader mode buttons has been sacrificed for this, conveniently located just by each jogwheel.

Preview button
The button that was previously mapped to toggle in and out of browser mode is now mapped to play the highlighted track in the preview player, and by holding down the preview button you can use the browse knob to scroll through the track and audition for energy levels and breakdowns, etc. This is a huge improvement, as the preview player is a fantastically useful feature but was fiddly and slightly confusing to work with on the Mk1.

In use

For this we’re focussing on the most exciting new capability of the S4 Mk2, control over the Traktor DJ iOS software. We used Traktor DJ on an iPad 2, running iOS 6 – at the time of writing there were still concerns over iOS 7′s stability with the software so we steered clear until after the test.  There’s a USB to 30-pin cable supplied in the box and once the firmware on the S4 was updated (Note: this can only be done via a laptop or desktop computer) you just plug in and get cracking. I’d like to say it worked perfectly straight away, but it didn’t. However it turned out to be only a minor gremlin. Full reboots of the S4 and the iPad fixed it and we were in business.

To see how the S4 performs when unleashing the impressive feature set of Traktor DJ, we started with the browser to get in the mix; by pushing down the encoder you enter browse mode and can scroll through tracks by turning. Holding shift allows you to scroll through folders, and all works well; hit “load” on either deck and in it pops. For DJs using both the iOS app and Traktor Pro 2 via computer, and you want previously saved meta data such as beatgrids and cue points to be present here, you’ll need to sync your tracks via Dropbox, and vice-versa if you want any changes applied while working in the app to be applied to tracks in your Traktor Pro collection.

A further feature in browse; by pressing the browse knob down a second time, whilst a track is playing, you get a list of all tracks that the app considers would go well with the current track, by BPM and key – this is a cracking tool and is crying out to be included in the Pro Version, which doesn’t give anywhere near as targeted a result when you use the sort feature there.

So tracks selected, cued and playing, we’re off and running with a mix…

Scratching
One word, wow. The integration is incredible, and there’s only a hint of “squelchiness” when sounds are manipulated at super-slow speeds. The fader response is super quick, and transformers, chirps and flares all sound great. The only slight niggle is that when compared to scratching using Traktor Pro 2, you need a much firmer hand here, to ensure the app stays in scratch mode. For an old-timer like me this is pretty mind-blowing stuff. I was impressed enough with Reloop’s Beatpad with Algoriddim’s djay, which I would say is as good as this from a scratching perspective, but this is some next-level shizzle when you consider the technology at work here.

Mixing
The best feature the S4 (and the S2) bring to the party here is that with sync and keylock disengaged, you can manually beatmatch using the tempo faders and jogwheels for nudge, unlocking control not allowed when using Traktor DJ alone on the device. This means the software is no-longer restricted by “sync-only” DJing, and if you are wanting to hone your manual beatmatching skills it’s now possible with Traktor DJ.

Effects
The “1″ and “2″ buttons which in Traktor Pro assign the corresponding FX bank to the channel, work slightly differently for Traktor DJ, when button “1″ is pressed the FX selection/viewer window for that channel slides into view on the left side of the waveform to show what’s going on. On the controller the the dry/wet and three FX encoders above the corresponding deck, control the FX for that deck. The “1″ button doesn’t need to be engaged for the FX to work; they are permanently controlled by the dry/wet and value adjustments and are depicted on the X/Y pad, which can be overridden with touch control of the screen, Kaos Pad style. Great fun.

When button “2″ is engaged, a less enthralling EQ window slides into view which seems to just show the currents values delegated by the controller, none of which are controllable by the screen; however, by tapping the Filter tab, you get an X/Y grid for the filter controls and you can have great fun using a combination of finger on the screen and knob rotations on the controller, to let rip with the filter.

Start to combine the value lock feature by tapping the lock logo on each FX window, and the capabilities of the FX units are pretty mindblowing, and you have to remind yourself you’re DJing on a tablet here…

Slicer
Push the loop encoder and your track starts looping at the indicated beat length, but when you push the move encoder, you enter the loop slice mode, and things get interesting. The loop is split into eight equal slices, assigned to the eight cue buttons (well, the four cue buttons as 1-4 and the four remix / sample trigger buttons as 5-8) so you can slice and play around to your heart’s content. These eight slices are created no matter what the loop length, so if you take the loop length down really low, each cue button now controls a tiny slice of the audio and you can almost play them like a keyboard. Please NI! We want this in Traktor Pro! It’s brilliant fun, works amazingly and really gets your creative juices flowing.

With iPhone?
We fired up a three-year-old iPhone 4S and took the risk of running iOS 7 – and everything worked fantastically. The only downside is the vastly smaller screen size (especially in an iPhone 4S) meaning that features accessed through the touchscreen are more fiddly and squint-inducing. However, the X/Y pad becomes full screen when you hit the “1″ button and turns the whole phone into a performance pad. So it works great, but this integration is more of an added bonus than a practical use for the S4 because it just feels odd to be using such a capable, and large, controller to DJ from a tiny phone.

Conclusion

For those looking for intuitive, comprehensive control of Traktor, the Kontrol S4 Mk2 is hands-down your best bet for a hassle-free, plug-and-play controller that which won’t let you down. The new S4 improves an what was already a fantastic controller, and the all-important control over the Traktor DJ app is spot on.

So if you’re considering this as your first Traktor controller, or perhaps stepping up to it from from an S2, then go for it. But if you have an S4 Mk1 and are considering an upgrade, the decision is tougher, because the upgraded features are borderline as to being worth the cost of the upgrade. For some, the booth output, Remix Deck control, iOS integration and much improved sample/cue buttons would make it worth the leap – but not for all, by any means.

If you plan to DJ solely from Traktor DJ on iOS, then go for the S2 Mk2 instead (or the Z1 for entry-level control), because on the S4 you have two surplus channels that you can do nothing with, as Traktor DJ is only (currently) a two-channel application. But if you want to swap between Traktor DJ and Traktor Pro’s four-deck capabilities, or perhaps use DVS or have additional sound sources such as turntables and samplers, then this is the one for you.

The S4 Mk2 is a subtle but significant improvement on the Mk1. It’s an evolution, not a revolution, but with the improved control over the Remix Decks and the iOS integration working like a dream, it is a worthy flagship for the platform, at least while we wait for a more ground-breaking model to appear. It’s not cheap, but it’s the same price as its predecessor (it’s actually $100 cheaper I belive than the S4 on first release), and it’s better, so what’s not to like?

Product Summary

Review Summary:

With an overhauled look, improved functionality and tight integration with iOS, the upgraded Traktor Kontrol S4 looks set to retain its dominance in the four-channel controller market for Traktor. Capable, reliable, portable and fun, the S4 packs a punch - but at a price.

Traktor Kontrol S4 DJ Controller
  • Traktor Kontrol S4 DJ Controller
  • Rating: 4.5
  • From: Native Instruments
  • Version: Mk2
  • Price: $799
  • Reviewed by:
  • On October 15, 2013
  • Last modified:February 13, 2014

Video Review

Are you an S4 Mk1 owner who has made the decision to upgrade? Or are you sticking with your Mk1? Have you just bought the S4 Mk2 as your first controller? Are you using it with Traktor Pro, Traktor DJ – or both? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Comments

  1. I’m going to wait for traktor to release one that doesn’t need a lap top. Imagine a traktor hardware with the software integrated, kinda like the cdmp7000 but without cd’s. It might never happen but I dont see the point on spending money if it’s basically the same thing just looks nicer.

    • Not gonna happen….. :)
      NI is a software company. To continue making money it needs to sell software to many laptop users and not limit their costumers to those who buy their hardware alone.
      Dream on….

      • I think this is slightly disingenuous.

        NI STARTED as a software company, and now they’re very clearly producing hardware. Unless you consider their entire controller lineup not to be hardware.

    • But, it does not need a laptop. I am surprised more people are not talking about this fact.

      • this ^ but also the z2 is the first piece of hardware that doesn’t require software and can be utilized with a laptop entirely. it use is limited, but it is accessible. As far as a full workstation being brought into production though, seems highly unlikely.

      • without* a laptop entirely

  2. The video review in this article is for Behringer CMD MM-1, PL-1 & DC-1, not the Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2.

  3. I will be upgrading to the mk2 from the original S4. But, like this article says, it’s not really that great of a value for this by itself. My reasoning is that my S4 has really been worn out by nearly 3 years of very heavy gigging (3 – 4 times a week). One of the knobs is very loose, I’ve lost some of the fader caps, the usb connector is broken — I had to wedge a piece of plastic in it, the 1/4 inch outputs stopped working awhile ago for some unknown reason (but the RCA outputs continue to work fine).

    In other words, my existing S4 has been worn down and I was due for a replacement anyway. Might as well try out the S4 mk2. My old S4 is pretty much useless for resale, so I’ll keep it as a backup unit.

    • This reader says what I am thinking. My original S4 is starting to fail. The volumes on Deck A & C may change when ever they want, the right side load button does not work but cosmetically the unit looks very good (for over 150 gigs). I was hoping NI would have incorporated video support with this release. VJing is where I see demand heading. DJs who do not support VJing will be left behind. Hopefully NI will not be left behind in this area.

      TJ

  4. I upgraded from the S2 Mk1 to the S4 MK2 and I haven’t looked back since. I haven’t tried it with my IPAD yet though.I will say for me my favorite feature is the new RGB buttons. So much more playable than on the older models. They also look like they will last a while! On my old S2, after a while I had to press alot harder on the buttons to jump between cue points.

    I think the purchase for me was a no brainer. I was in the market for a 4 channel controller so the timing just worked out perfectly!

  5. I have a MK1 S4 and will not be upgrading to a MK 2 any time soon. I am not convinced with the quality of the internal sound card and believe this has not been looked at by NI even though there are numerous forums online detailing the glitchiness of it’s functionality.
    I am not a heavy user of the S4 so if I want nice RGB buttons I think purchasing F1′s is a much better idea.
    I am reluctant to use the word ‘lazy’ as some have about NI’s efforts with this latest reincarnation of the S4 as I really like the look of the Maschine Studio Pro which clearly looks like they have spent a great deal of time on.
    As others have said, now that there is the pro version of Maschine maybe another S4 SE (special edition or the like) will appear with Maschine integration,…now that would be worth looking at!

  6. strmchchr says:

    Just picked up an mk2 s2 to use alongside my ipad for portability. Ill plug it into my desktop computer at home and have some fun in traktor but i wont use a laptop for mixing on again. Perfect integration.

  7. Ordered the S2 MkII online yesterday, so will give my full thoughts when I’ve gotten some time with it. My intention is to use it with Traktor DJ (iPad) only.

    Thanks for the review – eases my mind about being an early adopter!

  8. When I look at all the wonderful things that the Maschine side of Native Instruments puts out, I have to wonder why the Traktor side of N.I. doesn’t do its part to integrate the hardware. If I ran N.I., I’d demand that these products work together or the responsible parties would be looking for a new job.

    The Maschine division has always produced envelope-pushing gear and put a lot more into their product releases than their counterparts in the Traktor division and while Maschine made their products better, the Project Manager at Traktor independently developed the F1 instead of working with the Maschine division… which is probably why N.I. fired them. Not developing an internal system to sync the beat clock shows how divided these two divisions were… and are possibly still now.

    I don’t claim to know what’s going on at N.I., but from what I’ve seen, it appears that the Traktor division seems to operate on its own without much care regarding the rest of the company, even though the rest of the company has much to offer that would boost sales in all departments.

    We’re currently in a bubble of people thinking they’re DJs when they buy a controller, get a lot of music and use their work laptop to play to a bunch of friends. This is a tricky time to be determining features for the future because there are a lot of newer users who want hand-holding features and there are a lot fewer serious professionals who want features that might sound bizarre for the newer users. The game will always be selling to the masses while trying to push the envelope without scaring off people with a passing fancy for the interest.

    The S4 Mk2 was a let down in a market which is a lot more dynamic than the people at Traktor seem to want it to be. The controller is… fine, but it’s no DDJ-SX. Had the Project Manager developed differently, the S2/S4 series might have retained relevance, but it seems they are going to be what they are until they get superseded by a newer, more modular line of controllers.

  9. Mario García says:

    I have the z1 to use it with the ipad and if i want to mix with traktor pro, i’ll buy the x1 mk2 and the f1, the 3 together are by far better than traktor s4 mk2

  10. This past weekend I had an opportunity to play with a friend’s brand spanking new s4 mk2 and I will say I was impressed.
    However… When it comes to my next purchase I am very seriously debating on going with the ddj-sx instead of an s4. Now that is a big deal for a lifetime traktor user! I still cannot get over the fact that the S4 only has buttons for 4 cue points. Seriously NI step your game up in that department. Ontop of that the buttons on the S4 are not quite as “playable” as Id like them to be. As far as software/hardware integration I’m not sure I have noticed much of a difference between the ddj-sx and the S4, but I haven’t had all that much time using either controller.

    So guys I guess my question to you is do I stick with the software I have grown to love for my conteollerist style routine or do I dive headfirst into serato dj and spend the few extra bucks for what seems to be the perfect all in one to suit my needs.

    • Couple of comments.

      The S4 (both old and new) have 8 cue points and buttons to trigger them all. It is true the second row (5-8) do not have RGB colored buttons (orange only) but to say they only have buttons for 4 cue points is false.

      The new S4 MK2 buttons are much more playable – a lot closer to Machine that the original…and certainly as easy to use and responsive as the Pioneer controllers.

      Serato is in the dark ages compared to Traktor in terms of software and performance. Any perceived step forward you think you get from the DDJ – you lose using Serato.

  11. The new look of the S4 is a disappointing failure, as it has lost all the sobriety of the ‘old’ S4. The new one looks like a cheap Chinese toy for children. Instead of putting so many lightened and colored buttons, it would be better if the shape of the buttons had been modified completely. The play button is too small and should be rounded, not a square. The other little rounded buttons should be built larger, they are difficult to hit. I also believe NI should work hard on the clarity of its user manuals, because if you have no ‘guru’ around, you may simply go nuts trying to figure what they intended to explain in bunch of paragraphs. We are busy people, they should make things more clear and offer bunch of videos of ‘how to’. I do not know really what that Mk1 and Mk2 means, I have an old S4, but never encountered the Mk1 text along woth its name… That Mikro Maschine isn’t a separate hardware? So what on earth has to do with old/new S4? about other improvements of the new hardware, I can’t say anything, but they seems good as the old S4 has many things going sometimes wrong. About the design, the new S4 lost all the cances to look sober, like an CDJ Pioneer for example.

  12. Ordered my new S2 in Thailand and received it in 4 days! I love the iOS integration and the built quality. Simply amazing!

    • I hear the integration with IOS 7 is impeccable. Ha not! Biggest mistake I made this year hitting that upgrade button.

  13. Users in the NI forums are reporting that there is currently no setting in Traktor DJ for adjusting the crossfader curve. Can anyone here confirm?

    I am guessing this feature will be added eventually, but seems like a fairly big oversight. If I weren’t interested in scratching, I probably would have just bought a Z1 instead…

    • To be fair, Steve Canueto, our scratch tutor, had a lot of fun scratching on it, so while it may not be perfect, it’s definitely usable.

      • Phil, one of the NI forum users just clarified that Traktor DJ ver 1.3 does include a binary setting that toggles between “sharp” and “smooth” crossfader curves.

        So, no fine control over the curve, but a toggle will certainly good enough for my level!

  14. In other news, I just received this email from Native Instruments:

    ——————-quote———————–

    “Dear DJ,

    Here is a quick update on TRAKTOR DJ and iOS 7 compatibility: After extensive testing, we are pleased to inform you that TRAKTOR KONTROL Z1 is fully compatible with TRAKTOR DJ on iOS 7. The TRAKTOR DJ app is also working reliably under iOS 7, however Metadata sync with TRAKTOR PRO 2 is currently disabled by default.

    The new TRAKTOR KONTROL S4 and S2 are fully compatible with TRAKTOR DJ 1.3 on iOS 6, however they are not currently supported under iOS 7. Native Instruments is working closely with Apple to solve the remaining issues and we expect to offer a solution in Q4 2013.

    We will keep you informed of any further developments.

    Best regards,

    The Native Instruments team”

    —————–end quote—————————–

    Crap – I already updated my iPad to iOS 7… :P

  15. Hello

    My biggest question on the new S4 MK2 is there any improvment on the soundcard becouse the old S4 was befoure the Audio 10 and 6 release ?

  16. As someone who doesn’t use or want an apple device, it just seems like a complete waste of money to me.

  17. Gill Bates says:

    So the reviewer said that “it’s possible” to beatmatch on this controller. But how well (especially for someone who never uses the sync function)? Let’s say when comparing it to Denon MC-6000, Numark 4Trak or Pioneer DDJ-SX

  18. For anyone that has already upgraded their iOS device to 7.0+, I can confirm that the Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk2 is currently recognized by the iPad and Traktor DJ.

    It is definitely not stable under iOS7, as NI warned. After about 1.5-2.0 hrs of mixing, the tempo went all wonky and was not fixable by just shutting down the Traktor DJ app and re-loading it. A full iPad and TK Mk2 rebot was required.

    The good news is, I am fully convinced that DJing with Traktor DJ on iPad is the future for me. The integration is *tight*, and plenty powerful for my (albeit amateur) purposes. This isn’t a toy, but rather a serious platform for digital DJs – especially for those who desiring a minimalist approach to hardware.

    Can’t wait till iOS7 and Traktor DJ get patched up and fully stable together!

    • Wayne Sherman says:

      Hi lance,

      We’ll at long last your comments on the ios7 / Kontrol s2 capability is the only feedback I have found, can you help me I am eager to buy a s2 mk2 but the stability is concerning me, I’m very much like you I want to go the iPad route but until native update the app would you say it’s still worth it for the length of time you get to mix before it goes abit wonky!!
      You said that you had to reboot the iPad when it wouldn’t work properly do you mean a complete restore or just a shut down and reboot, your help would be appreciated

      Wayne

  19. riddimmaster says:

    I will not be upgrading my S4 MK 1 just yet. I’m very happy with my current S4 controller and the new model doesn’t have enough features that I could take advantage of to warrant the upgrade.

    However, a new S5? That may be a different story!!

  20. im seriously looking into buying my first controller, never used them before and im a novice in all aspects of dj’ing, will the s4 be suitable for me? how easy is it to use the whole package software, and hardware?

  21. Are you guys planning to do a review on the S2 Mk2? If not, do you think it is even worth thinking about purchasing the S2 Mk2 given the price difference between the S2 Mk2 and the S4 Mk2? I’ve been a bedroom dj since I was 16 and I plan to keep it that way. I just dj at home because it feels good to do so. :)

  22. Is it worth it to purchase insurance for dj controllers? I just purchased a Traktor S4 and declined the extended warranty. Did I make a dumb move? Please comment as you see fit.

    • Sorry to say it but yes! You just made a dumb move. I purchased a Traktor s4 mk1 controller back in March 2011 and although it has behaved pretty well for the past two years, the last few months the machine started failing. The USB connector got damaged from constant plug/unplugging. The loop encoder buttons and the trigger sample pads started to fail too. In the end I was forced to buy a brand new MK2 S4 with a 3 year warranty on it. $900 bucks!! Had I had insurance on it, it would have been a different story!

  23. Hi Phil- fantastic website. I have been using turntables for years and now deciding on either the S2 or S4 mk2.
    My question is regarding the S2′s lack of inputs for emergencies (I prefer the more compact size of the S2)- will adding audio 6 or 10 resolve the issue of having an emergency input, while also allowing me to play vinyl and mp3′s simultaneously? Thanks! Keep up the great website!

    • You’re far better off just going for the S4 that solves all of these problems.

      • Thanks Phil for your input. Just out of curiosity- if I were to go with the S2, would Audio 6 or 10 serve as a viable workaround if needed later on? Thanks again. Cheers

        • Lewis Hawkes says:

          Not really, that would mean the computer seeing two sound cards and adds more possibility for stability problems. The S4 with the DVS would be the best option.

  24. It’s a pity Native Instruments aren’t acknowledging that there is a serious fault with these Mark 2 devices that cause them to freeze /crash, particularly when the jog wheels or knob tweaking are used.
    NI were unable to fix the problem for me and I’ve had no alternative but to return my S2. Alas, all style no substance in this case. Just not good enough!

  25. Lewis Hawkes says:

    I have the S4 mk2 and the DVS upgrade kit, I can honestly say I have never had any crashes or glitches with any part of the units functionality. I’ve used turntables, numark CDjs, pioneer CDjs, I plug in an F1 and also have used cdj 2000s in HID mode but using the mixer from the s4. Switching between line, phono, internal and pass through many times in a set as different djs came on for their hour didn’t phase the unit at all. Plus tag on that possibly a dozen or so USB memory sticks being changed over during the gig and I can say the biggest aspect of this unit that impresses me is not the excellent fx units, tight and responsive platters, booth and master outs and many other tricks it has, but it’s solid reliability.

  26. renton marx says:

    Please help! Just bought an iPod5 to use with my S4 mk2 and there’s no 30 pin port on it. How do I connect them?

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